Finish It…: East & Easter Tunic

Well hello there! Long time no see. Hope you are all well.

I disappeared for a while because my Mom was diagnosed with aggressive late stage stomach cancer 🙁 Her whole stomach is now removed & she will need chemo going forward. I’ve been & will be on filial duty for a while. Unfortunately she’s on the other side of the world. So not much sewing is going to get done rest of this year. But here is one last project I managed to finish while my siblings take over for a couple of weeks.

This project was part of my Fix/Finish It June-July sewing plan. I had already finished all the machine work by the time I learnt about my Mom’s illness. I did consider taking the hand sewing with me. But it was just as well I didn’t, since trying to understand & speak Chinese all day long left me unfit to do anything else.

The Inspiration & Design

1-bs-2013-02-121_photoTo recap, this started out as the muslin for my self-drafted Tunic Block, which is essentially an experiment in going dartless with my Top Block.

Now the Tunic is another classic that deserves a place in almost everyone’s wardrobe. I like the vaguely ethnic variety. My starting inspiration for turning this muslin into a tunic was Burda 2013-02-121 Flared Tunic. What would you call this – Moroccan?

I also collected a bunch of other examples – both what I don’t like & what I do like. Sometimes it’s useful to compare the two to figure out what makes or breaks a design.

Mine ends up being a mishmash of the Burda original and the swirly soutache designs. The design details were made up as I went along, testing different ribbons & soutache/Russia Braid arrangements.

Style Shots & Mug Shots

The Pattern

  • Block: Self-drafted Tunic Block
  • Design changes:
    • Enlarged neckline: CB 0″ lower – Sides 1″ wider – CF 2″ lower.
    • Lengths used: Bodice bum length, Sleeves wrist length.
    • Widen sleeve hems by 7″ total, tapering to nothing at mid upper arm.
    • Added CF slit: Measured same 2-1/2″ up from my Block’s waistline as on Burda 2013-02-121 for bottom of slit.
    • Added side seam slits: Measured same 7″ up from hem as on Burda 2013-02-121 for top of slits.

Fabric & Notions Used

Construction Notes

  • I mostly followed the instruction for Burda 2013-02-121 with the following key exceptions:
    • 2-sew-closuresMy fabric was too heavy to make spaghetti button loops. So I used the soutache cord for the loops & hand-sewn this along with the flat buttons to the inside of the CF slits after rest of the tunic was done.
    • CF ribbon trims were stitched before the neckline seam so that the ends of the ribbons would be hidden in the neckline seam.
    • Sleeve & bodice hem trims were stitched before the hems were turn inside, again for a tidier inside finish.
    • 2-sew-soutache1The soutache embellishment were sewn by hand. I tried machine-stitching this as shown in this YouTube video, but found mine a bit too skinny, stretchy & otherwise unwieldy. I will try again some day on another project maybe with a wider soutache…

The Verdict

Somehow my tunic ends up also looking vaguely Chinese. I guess there is no escaping my DNA eh? 🙂

I’m fairly happy with the result though. Now I just need some bottoms to go with the tunic. Maybe it’s time to venture into trousers/pants making? OK, maybe next year. Mom comes first.

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9 comments on “Finish It…: East & Easter Tunic

  1. What a beautiful tunic! Being from a large family, there is always someone who needs care. It is all cyclical. All the best while you go through it.

  2. So sorry to hear about your mum’s illness, it must be a very difficult time for your family. Your tunic turned out great, the ribbon trim looks really good, I thought it was painted on or woven into the fabric at first.

  3. Pia, I am so sorry to hear about your mom. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I do so hope she is comfortable. Your tunic is lovely – like all your garments! The details and the orange colour – so perfect. And I would look forward to seeing you venture into the world of trousers – self-drafted from a me-made block or otherwise. Take care of yourself.

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